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News Article | January 7, 2016
Site: www.reuters.com

Four citations, with combined possible fines of up to $25,770, were issued in April by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health against the San Diego amusement park. SeaWorld trainers have not been in the water with the killer whales during shows since 2010, when a trainer at its Orlando, Florida, park was killed by an orca during a performance. During training and medical care however, staff interact closely with the marine mammals and the citations claimed the park had ineffective training and measures for ensuring worker safety in the pools. One citation said SeaWorld also required staff to sign a confidentiality agreement that discouraged them from reporting hazards. "The goal here in California is protecting worker safety and this settlement does improve the safety of SeaWorld employees," said agency spokeswoman Erika Monterroza. Once the settlement is approved, which Monterroza said was expected to occur at the department's next meeting on Jan. 21, trainers will no longer be allowed to swim under or ride on the killer whales in the medical pool, nor will they be able to stand on the animals except to get out of the tank. SeaWorld announced the pending settlement on its SeaWorldCares website on Wednesday, saying the resolution was based largely on their existing safety protocol. "This decision will allow SeaWorld to continue our critical animal care practices and trainer safety training method," the company's statement said. "These techniques are important to the safety of our trainers and veterinary staff as well as the health and well-being of the orcas in our care." SeaWorld has faced heated criticism and declining revenues since the release of the 2013 documentary film "Blackfish," which depicted the captivity and public exhibition of killer whales as inherently cruel. SeaWorld has criticized the film as inaccurate and misleading. Last Tuesday, SeaWorld sued California authorities in an attempt to overturn a decision that allows the theme park to expand its orca habitat only if it stops breeding killer whales in captivity.


It’s been nearly two years since Nadia Levine fielded the frantic calls — the first one from her husband, the next from a coworker. Panicked, Levine dialed both her children’s schools as she scrolled down the front page of CNN.com on Feb. 18, 2015. A fire raged blocks away from the Torrance, California, home her family had moved into only a month before. On a business trip nearly 3,000 miles away in Connecticut, Levine scrambled to find numbers for neighbors who could check to see whether the house was still standing. “All I knew at that point was that my kids and husband were alive,” she said. As the smoke cleared, it became clear her worries were far from over. Just before 9 that morning, pent-up gases at ExxonMobil’s Torrance refinery south of Los Angeles had triggered an explosion so massive it registered as a magnitude-1.7 tremor. A five-story processing unit had burst open, spewing industrial ash over a mile away that some mistook for snow and propelling a 40-ton hunk of equipment into the air. The debris had narrowly avoided piercing a tank containing tens of thousands of pounds of hydrofluoric acid, or HF — a gas so toxic it corrodes bone. It was the first Levine had heard of HF. The chemical is used to make high-octane gasoline at about a third of the 141 oil refineries in the United States. If released, HF forms a fast-moving, ground-hugging cloud that can cause lasting lung damage, severe burns, or death. There are alternatives to HF, but only one U.S. refinery that uses it has voluntarily committed to switch, a process expected to begin this year. Federal rules, which don’t require such changes, “haven’t kept up with the continuing challenge of preventing chemical incidents,” said Rick Engler, a member of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board, which issues recommendations but has no regulatory authority. He called HF “one of the most hazardous and potentially deadly chemicals used in the oil-refining process.” Along with environmentalists and union leaders, the board has pushed unsuccessfully for a federal mandate that would require high-hazard industries to consider using safer processes and chemicals. A 41-page study by a consultant last year estimated it would cost roughly $100 million for the Torrance refinery to switch to sulfuric acid, an HF alternative that carries risks of its own but doesn’t pose a sizable threat to the public. While federal regulation has stagnated, local activism in the wake of the 2015 accident spurred Southern California regulators to revive a 27-year-old effort to ban HF. “Let’s see if we can phase this out to provide an extra level of protection for the public,” Philip Fine, a deputy executive director of the South Coast Air Quality Management District, said in an interview. Separately, California officials have been working on a statewide rule, expected to become final this summer, that would require refinery owners to adopt “inherently safer designs and processes” and give workers a bigger voice in accident prevention. That effort began after another disaster that didn’t involve HF: a massive 2012 fire at the Chevron refinery in Richmond, north of San Francisco. More than 15,000 people sought medical treatment for respiratory and other symptoms related to toxic-smoke inhalation. More than 100 refineries are among 1,900 facilities considered “high risk” by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, meaning they are prone to terrorist attacks or accidents that imperil surrounding communities. An EPA analysis found that oil- and coal-products manufacturing, which includes refining, had the highest rates of chemical accidents. Many refinery owners, however, have postponed maintenance and equipment upgrades while ramping up production — increasing the odds of deadly mishaps. The Chemical Safety Board, which is investigating the 2015 Torrance accident, called the blast at the 750-acre refinery a “near miss” that fell just short of a “catastrophe,” faulting poor maintenance by ExxonMobil, which had delayed repairs to cut costs. ExxonMobil has challenged those claims. In an email, a spokesperson wrote that “there was no evidence” the incident “posed any risk of harm to the community” from HF. He also wrote that there are “no safer or commercially viable alternatives” to the chemical and denied that ExxonMobil cut corners on maintenance. The company is contesting more than a half-million dollars in state fines and has refused to fully cooperate with safety board investigators, even though it sold the refinery in September 2015 for $538 million to PBF Energy, a New Jersey company known for buying distressed properties at steep discounts. Like ExxonMobil, PBF has reassured Torrance residents that the operation is safe and that the company is “focused on continuous improvement,” despite a spate of recent problems. The scare in Torrance could have been avoided if federal rules had been stronger, said Rick Hind, legislative director at Greenpeace USA. After years of industry pushback, the EPA updated its Risk Management Program in December, requiring facilities like the Torrance refinery to report near-misses and urging communities to improve emergency response. But the rule — which is subject to undoing by the Trump administration — didn’t address prevention, Hind said. “When you use the word ‘risk,’ just substitute the word ‘gamble’ and it takes on a different urgency,” he said. “We’re just again gambling with the future of millions of workers and community residents.” Growing up in Contra Costa County, east of San Francisco, Levine, now 34, lived not far from two refineries. These days she works across the street from the Chevron El Segundo refinery, just south of Los Angeles International Airport. The only one that gives her pause, she says, is Torrance. Saddled with a hefty mortgage, the Levines have remained in their house despite lingering concerns. Months after the near-miss, sirens sounded again when a small amount of HF leaked from a truck. Days before Thanksgiving last year, Levine watched another fire unfold near the same unit that exploded in 2015, which produces a crucial component of high-octane gasoline. “Nobody told us we lived in a kill zone when we bought our house,” said Levine, whose home is within two miles of the refinery. ExxonMobil’s “worst-case” chemical-release scenario filed with the EPA estimated that no more than 2 percent of its HF supply could escape, endangering more than 255,000 residents up to 3.2 miles away. The EPA is investigating whether that figure is accurate. Neither PBF nor ExxonMobil has explained why that scenario assumes a minor leak instead of a tank-emptying discharge. Each has declined to disclose the exact potency of “modified” HF used at Torrance, which is diluted with a secret additive they claim greatly curbs how much of the acid vaporizes. The companies’ reticence stands in contrast to Valero, which operates a refinery eight miles away in the Wilmington neighborhood of Los Angeles and makes its modified HF recipe public. Valero’s worst-case scenario predicts its total HF supply, if released, would endanger more than 370,000 people as far as 4.3 miles away. The composition of the modified HF in Torrance remains a mystery to federal investigators, too. ExxonMobil has not yet complied with several Chemical Safety Board subpoenas, including those seeking information on the refinery’s HF tank. Absent federal rules, attempts to make processes less dangerous have fallen largely to companies like ExxonMobil — with mixed results. The additive used in Torrance dates to a 1989 lawsuit filed by the city against ExxonMobil — then Mobil. At the time, Torrance was using pure HF, which officials warned could lead to a “disaster of Bhopal-like proportions,” referring to the 1984 gas leak in India that killed thousands. The city’s complaint called the refinery a “public nuisance” and documented more than 127 incidents that had occurred in the previous decade, including a gas-fueled fireball that killed a stranded motorist and two workers, and a series of other fires and leaks. In 1990, Mobil agreed that it would discontinue use of undiluted HF, and several years later a court-appointed safety advisor approved Mobil’s use of the acid tempered with at least 30-percent additive. Mobil claimed the additive, combined with other protective measures like emergency water cannons, would virtually eliminate toxic vapors in the event of a release, causing HF to fall to the ground like rain. The nature of the additive remains secret to this day. In a statement, PBF spokesperson Michael Karlovich wrote that the company is barred from speaking in detail about it because the supplier considers the information to be proprietary. The HF used at Torrance, he wrote, is diluted by approximately 10 to 15 percent. That amount falls short of the 30-percent threshold to which Mobil committed all those years ago. The discrepancy — coupled with lingering concern over the 2015 near-miss — was the main reason the South Coast air district revived the idea of an HF ban, Fine said. The district was made aware of the change, he said, by the Torrance Refinery Action Alliance, which found that the city council agreed to Mobil’s plan in a closed-door meeting. The district’s original attempt to ban HF in 1990 was overturned in court because officials hadn’t allowed a sufficient period for public comment. “We’re much worse off because of modified HF,” said retired scientist and alliance member Sally Hayati. She and others in her group support switching to sulfuric acid, which can still burn workers but doesn’t vaporize into fast-moving clouds. “If it wasn’t for modified HF, HF would have been gone.” HF is used in a refining process called alkylation, in which light hydrocarbons are fed into a reactor and transformed into a mixture of heavier ones by a catalyst — either HF or the primary alternative, sulfuric acid. The liquid part of this mixture, alkylate, gives high-octane gasoline its anti-knock properties. Kim Nibarger of the United Steelworkers, a union that represents workers in Torrance, said that both modified and regular HF pose lethal risks. “For our workers, it’s not really going to matter if it’s modified or not, they’re going to be in the middle of it,” he said. The union’s 2013 report on the dangers of HF, “A Risk Too Great,” urged refiners to commit to safer options. While sulfuric acid — used at about 50 U.S. refineries — is less menacing to the public than HF, Nibarger said it’s not much of a step up for workers. He’s hopeful that two emerging technologies — solid acid alkylation, being tried at a refinery in China, and ionic liquid alkylation, to be phased in at a Chevron refinery in Salt Lake City, beginning this year — will catch on. In a statement, the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers stood behind HF, used by many of its members, from refiners to pharmaceutical companies. “Refiners have safely and responsibly operated hydrofluoric acid units for more than 70 years,” the trade group wrote in an email, adding that “a ban of HF could threaten California’s fuel supply and lead to higher consumer fuel costs.” PBF officials expressed the same sentiment and said a transition to sulfuric acid would be a massive undertaking that would take several years to plan. For years, refiners claimed pure HF would liquefy if spilled — a theory physicist Ron Koopman disproved in the 1980s with industry-sponsored tests in the Nevada desert. “But there was no liquid to collect,” said Koopman, formerly of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and now an independent consultant. “All of it went downwind as a vapor cloud.” Based on his experience with pure HF, Koopman is skeptical of industry claims about the modified form. Outside of research by companies, he said, there have been no peer-reviewed studies confirming the efficacy of modified HF. “No one has any idea if it works,” said U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), a longtime Torrance resident whose children sheltered in place at school the day of the 2015 blast. “We’re flying blind here.” Since PBF took over the Torrance refinery in July, it has pushed production rates at the nearly century-old complex beyond ExxonMobil’s historic outputs. The refinery is PBF’s most expensive and most recent purchase, producing a tenth of California’s gasoline. When the “gasoline machine,” as the company describes it, virtually shut down for over a year following the 2015 explosion, it caused a spike in regional gas prices that cost motorists $2.4 billion. As companies like ExxonMobil exit refining in search of heftier profits from oil and gas exploration, smaller and newer companies like PBF have taken the helm — buying up aging plants for “10 cents on the dollar.” Within eight years, the New Jersey company went from owning no refineries to being the country’s third-largest independent refiner, with five facilities. PBF’s brief track record at Torrance has been marred by problems. The refinery has been beset by power outages that set off tall columns of black smoke from safety flares. “You’re sitting or playing outside and all of a sudden there it goes,” said Levine, who has spent nearly $1,000 on home air purifiers. “It’s starting to become normalized, and I don’t like that. That scares me more than anything.” On Jan. 4, she got a city of Torrance alert about an “unidentified odor” from the refinery. While PBF officials were quick to assure residents that the rotten-egg smell was innocuous, a hazardous-spill report suggests otherwise. Local fire officials reported traces of sulfur had leaked along with an unknown amount of naphtha — a highly flammable gas and a nose, throat and eye irritant. In an interview, Jeff Dill, president of PBF’s western region, said the incident was minor and “there were no materials released from any equipment.” It took only 90 gallons of naphtha to spark a 1999 fire at the Tosco Avon refinery in Martinez, California, that burned four workers to death and critically injured another. PBF founder Thomas O’Malley was CEO of Tosco at the time. That disaster was considered preventable by the Chemical Safety Board, whose report revealed “a pattern of serious deviations from safe work practices” that went uncorrected by management. Tosco paid $21 million to settle three wrongful-death claims, $2 million in criminal fines, and a state fine of more than $800,000. O’Malley apologized, but faulted workers for disregarding safety protocols. Before the fire, Tosco had finished a round of layoffs and was preparing to downsize its staff of health and safety inspectors. The 1999 fire wasn’t O’Malley’s first run-in with regulators at Tosco, which he transformed from a one-refinery company to the country’s largest independent refiner between 1990 and 2001. Two years earlier, a 1997 fire at the same refinery killed one worker and injured 46 others. The EPA fined Tosco $600,000 after an investigation found “management tolerance of safety hazards and risky operator practices” like “operating with unreliable or malfunctioning equipment.” “The U.S. refining industry is not a learning culture,” said Mike Wilson of the BlueGreen Alliance, a coalition of union officials and environmentalists. Wilson, a former chief scientist with the California Department of Industrial Relations Division of Occupational Safety and Health, was part of a team working on the state’s pending refinery rule. “It’s the same kind of incidents that happen. They happen again and again and again.” The PBF refinery in Paulsboro, New Jersey, which uses HF, is a case in point. Sixteen students and two teachers at the high school next door were hospitalized in 2015 for exposure to naphtha, which can contain carcinogenic benzene. A lawsuit filed last year claims PBF failed to detect the leak for two days. The company declined to comment on the case. It was the second time schoolchildren were sickened by emissions from the Paulsboro refinery since PBF purchased it in 2010. In 2012, several nearby schools reported sick students after 6.3 million gallons of oil spilled from a large tank. Under New Jersey law, PBF must evaluate safer alternatives every five years. The company’s 2012 report to the Department of Environmental Protection concluded that switching to sulfuric acid was “not feasible,” in part because conversion would cost $200 million to $250 million. PBF was unenthusiastic about moving to modified HF as well, saying it would cause “increased corrosion” of equipment and cut the refinery’s efficiency by 10 percent. According to a PBF filing with the EPA, the Paulsboro refinery stores 250,000 pounds of undiluted HF on site, endangering more than 3.2 million people up to 19 miles away. Just across the Delaware River from Paulsboro is PBF’s first property, the Delaware City Refinery, plagued by even more problems. Last year, state regulators cited the refinery for dozens of violations stemming from multiple leaks and excessive flaring that released thousands of pounds of pollutants into the air. The refinery is also under a safety board investigation for a string of worker injuries. In November 2015, a worker was severely burned on the face and neck. Months earlier, two incidents a week apart led to a fire and chemical leak that sent three workers to the hospital. O’Malley has bought the Delaware City Refinery twice — first as head of Premcor in 2004, and then as dealmaker for PBF in 2010. In the latter transaction, the refinery had been shuttered for two years under Valero, which reported it was losing $1 million a day in 2009. While the PBF purchase was celebrated by Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, it came at a steep cost to the public. Once the deal was announced, state regulators quickly settled with Valero for $1.95 million, a fraction of the penalties that could have been collected for nearly 200 environmental violations in the past decade. Delawareans have also handed out nearly $55 million in grants and tax breaks to PBF to resurrect the refinery. When PBF bought another Valero refinery later in 2010, New Jersey regulators also quickly settled. The state recovered less than $800,000 from Valero — a third of the proposed $2.3 million in environmental fines the company racked up over six years. PBF is also in negotiations with Louisiana’s Department of Environmental Quality over violations dating to 2009 at the Chalmette refinery — a former ExxonMobil property the company bought in 2015. Like Torrance and Paulsboro, Chalmette also uses HF. According to an ExxonMobil filing with the EPA, the refinery has 620,000 pounds of the acid, which could endanger more than 880,000 people as far as 25 miles away. Companies like PBF are “flippers” — acquiring refineries at rock-bottom prices only to sell them a few years later for profits. The business model has paid off for O’Malley, an early pioneer of the tactic who sold Tosco in 2001 for $7 billion. He replicated the success with Premcor, which was sold to Valero in 2005 for $8 billion. PBF declined multiple requests by the Center for Public Integrity to make O’Malley available for comment. While O’Malley’s knack for turning around unprofitable assets has won him both praise and billions on Wall Street, it has earned him disdain from some in the labor community, who tell of severe cost-cutting at the expense of workers. Bob Wages, a longtime union leader, once told The Wall Street Journal that O’Malley’s success, in part, meant “taking a knife to all parts of the business.” O’Malley’s strategy, moreover, hasn’t always worked. His model sent Switzerland-based PetroPlus deeper into a financial hole after it bought three European refineries. He led the company until shortly before it filed for insolvency in 2012. O’Malley officially retired from PBF in June following the Torrance deal, but remains a paid consultant to the company. But the company still follows his vision. CEO Thomas Nimbley worked as O’Malley’s No. 2 at Tosco, and two of O’Malley’s nephews have served as vice presidents. PBF officials said they are committed to running their refineries “safely and reliably in an environmentally responsible manner,” but noted that the company also bears a responsibility to its shareholders. “We pay one of the higher dividends in our industry,” Dill said. Nadia Levine, meanwhile, says conditions at the refinery — and communication about incidents — don’t seem to have improved since PBF took over. “It all seems to be cloaked in secrecy,” she said. Jie Jenny Zou is a reporter at the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit investigative news organization in Washington, D.C. This story was produced in collaboration with Southern California Public Radio.


News Article | December 13, 2016
Site: news.yahoo.com

ANACORTES, Wash. — From 500 yards away, John Moore felt the concussion before he heard it. Moore was midway through a 6 p.m.-to-6 a.m. shift as an operator at the Tesoro Corporation’s oil refinery in Anacortes, an island town 80 miles north of Seattle. It was 35 minutes after midnight on April 2, 2010. Up the hill from Moore, in the Naphtha Hydrotreater unit, seven workers were restoring to service a bank of heat exchangers — radiator-like devices, containing flammable hydrocarbons, that had been gummed up by residue and cleaned. Most of the workers didn’t need to be there; it was, for them, a training exercise. Moore was monitoring the job by radio. “They were maybe two-thirds of the way to putting the bank online when I heard a noise from outside,” he said. “I felt a tremendous vibration in my feet,” followed by the whooshing sound of “a match hitting a barbecue.” Exchanger E-6600E, part of a bank that had kept running while the other one was down, had come apart and disgorged hydrogen and a component of crude oil called naphtha, which ignited. Moore called each of the seven workers on the radio and got no response. Thirty or 40 seconds later he heard the strained voice of the crew’s foreman, Lew Janz. “Lew said, ‘Get someone up here. We’re all dying.’” Members of the refinery’s first-responder team raced to the unit. They sprayed water on flaming, mangled equipment and burning bodies, which reignited from the heat. Debris flew. The conflagration lasted until 4 a.m. Three of the workers died at the scene. Two more succumbed to their injuries within hours. A sixth — Janz — survived 11 days, a seventh 22. The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries investigated and proposed a record fine against Tesoro, having found that it “disregarded a host of workplace safety regulations, continued to operate failing equipment for years, postponed maintenance [and] inadequately tested for potentially catastrophic damage.” The company has since settled lawsuits filed by the families of the seven workers but is still appealing the state citation. In a written statement, Tesoro said that while it disagrees with the Department of Labor & Industries’ conclusions, this “does not alter our focus on continually learning from incidents and improving the safety of our operations.” Moore, now retired and in fragile health, takes a darker view. “They’ve fought everything tooth and nail,” he said, “and refused to take the blame for anything.” There are 141 oil refineries in the United States. Where they are clustered — east and south of Houston, south of Los Angeles, northeast of San Francisco — they are prodigious sources of air pollution and inflict a sort of low-grade misery — rank odors, bright flares, loud noises — on their neighbors. They also pose an existential threat, as evidenced by the more than 500 refinery accidents reported to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency since 1994. The Anacortes disaster occurred five years after the BP refinery in Texas City, Texas, blew up, killing 15 workers and injuring 180. It came two years before a fire at the Chevron refinery in Richmond, California, sent a plume of pungent, black smoke over the Bay Area, and five years before an explosion at the ExxonMobil refinery in Torrance, California, nearly unleashed a ground-hugging cloud of deadly acid into a city of almost 150,000 people. These episodes and others call into question the adequacy of EPA and U.S. Department of Labor rules that have been in place since the 1990s. The former is finishing an update, due out in early 2017, that critics say doesn’t do enough to safeguard the public; the latter is years away from floating a proposal to protect workers. This story is part of Carbon Wars. The fossil-fuel industry is under attack as the world warms and pollution impairs and shortens lives. But industry is fighting back. Click here to read more stories in this series. Don't miss another Environment investigation: Sign up for the Center for Public Integrity's Watchdog email. The U.S. Chemical Safety Board, an investigative body modeled on the National Transportation Safety Board, lists among its highest priorities upgrades to process safety — procedures that can help prevent industrial fires, explosions and chemical leaks. The board, which makes recommendations but has no regulatory authority, has investigated 15 refinery accidents in its 19-year history and just committed to an inquiry into a Nov. 22 fire at the ExxonMobil refinery in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, that injured six workers, four critically. It has issued 112 refinery-related recommendations, nearly half of which have not been adopted. “Underlying so many problems in this industry is production pressure,” board member Rick Engler said. “Shutting down part or all of a major refining unit costs an enormous amount of money, so there are pressures not to do so from management.” The board’s final report on Anacortes is an indictment of Tesoro’s safety ethos: The bank of heat exchangers on which Lew Janz, Daniel Aldridge, Matthew Bowen, Kathryn Powell, Darrin Hoines, Donna Van Dreumel and Matthew Gumbel were working had a “long history of frequent leaks and occasional fires” during startup, investigators found. Tesoro “did not monitor actual operating conditions” of two of the exchangers, including the badly degraded one that ruptured, “even though it would have been technically feasible to do so.” Tesoro could have redesigned the exchangers and automated startup procedures — things it did after the fact — so the seven workers would not have been in peril, the board said. Instead, Tesoro chose to tempt fate. It was a mindset former workers like Maria Redin had complained about for years. “Very few people exercised their right to stop work because of peer pressure,” said Redin, who lives in Belcourt, North Dakota, and went by her married name, Maria Howling Wolf, in Anacortes. When she, an operator, would raise a concern, managers would “pat me on the head like a good little dog” and tell her not to worry. Redin and her colleagues used to say they worked at “God’s favorite refinery,” a wry reference to the many close calls that somehow hadn’t ended badly. This run of luck expired at 12:35 a.m. on April 2, 2010, when Redin, who had just gone to bed, heard the explosion. “I automatically assumed it was the refinery,” she said. “You could see the fire from my house. I knew they were going to need help.” Redin got dressed and drove her pickup truck to the main gate. Sent first to a break room where the seven workers’ belongings lay untouched, she next was dispatched to the bottom of the hill on which the Naphtha Hydrotreater unit was perched. Redin arrived by bicycle and went upstairs to an old control room. There she saw Matt Gumbel, a 34-year-old operator with whom she had worked. His eyelids had been burned off. His body smoldered. “I didn’t even recognize him,” Redin said. “He was all swollen up and laying on the floor with a blanket over him. He was naked. He was cooked, literally cooked.” Gumbel began talking. “He was telling me to tell his dad [Paul, who also worked at the refinery] he was fine. I said, ‘Matt, you’re not OK. You look like shit.’ He kind of laughed and said, ‘I know.’” The banter continued as paramedics tended to Gumbel and Redin held his hand. Eventually, it subsided. “I could tell he was going down,” Redin said. At the time of the accident in Anacortes, Dr. Michael Silverstein headed the Department of Labor & Industries’ Division of Occupational Safety and Health. “I went out there not too long after the explosion,” said Silverstein, who retired in 2012. He was struck by the sheer size of the 120,000-barrel-per-day refinery, built in 1955. “Even single units are monstrous,” he said. “I remember being stunned at the scope of the unit that had blown up.” The Naphtha Hydrotreater unit’s purpose was to remove sulfur and other impurities from raw naphtha so it could be turned into high-octane gasoline stock. The cylindrical, tube-filled heat exchangers inside the unit were used to conserve energy: they preheated the feed as it made its way to the reactor and also cooled the reactor effluent. The more Silverstein learned about what had happened at the refinery, the angrier he became. He was told about the troublesome heat-exchanger leaks during startup; workers routinely used steam lances to suppress flammable vapors. “It was unfathomable to me why Tesoro had decided to place workers in positions of known danger rather than making more expensive but definitive fixes to these leaking units,” Silverstein said. He learned about a corrosion mechanism called high temperature hydrogen attack, or HTHA, which can cause tiny cracks in equipment, like the exchangers, subject to intense heat and pressure. He learned that the company hadn’t done the sorts of inspections required to find these micro-cracks, which can turn into bigger ones. Silverstein was bothered in particular by a 1999 Tesoro document stating that it was “economically attractive” to push reactors and exchangers to their limits in older units. The document urged “very close control and monitoring of operating conditions, coupled with frequent inspection” under such circumstances. The state’s investigation took six months, the maximum allowed by law. On Oct. 1, 2010, the Department of Labor & Industries cited Tesoro for 44 violations — 39 classified as “willful,” five as “serious” — and proposed a fine of just under $2.4 million. Tesoro gave notice of appeal three weeks later and subsequently filed a series of legal motions that sent the case into limbo for more than 4 ½ years. Finally, in July 2015, what would turn out to be a yearlong proceeding began before the state Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals. Over the course of that year, 102 witnesses gave testimony. In his opening statement in Mount Vernon, a small city southeast of Anacortes, on July 21 of last year, Assistant Attorney General Brian Dew, representing the Department of Labor & Industries, outlined the state’s case. “Tesoro is in a high-risk, high-reward business, but with a twist,” he said. “They take the higher reward, but it’s the employees that are put at risk.” The exchanger that blew, E-6600E, and its twin, E-6600B, were made of carbon steel, a material known for its susceptibility to HTHA. Tesoro, Dew said, never inspected either for this condition. “As you see the evidence that’s offered in this case,” he told Industrial Appeals Judge Mark Jaffe, “you will see that this tragedy did not have to happen.” Tesoro’s outside counsel, Peter Modlin of San Francisco, spoke next. The company “could not have foreseen the event giving rise to the April 2010 incident,” he said, and there was no evidence that it violated any regulations. Modlin explained that Tesoro had acquired the refinery in 1998 from Shell Oil Company, which had installed the E-6600 heat exchangers 26 years earlier. Tesoro retained corrosion specialists who determined that the E and B exchangers weren’t vulnerable to HTHA, Modlin said; therefore, they weren’t inspected for it. The A and D exchangers, which ran hotter, were. Modlin rebutted the allegations in the Labor & Industries citation and promised, “There will not be a shred of evidence presented by the department that Tesoro was indifferent to workers’ safety.” The following 12 months brought a parade of witnesses, including the CEO of Tesoro, Gregory Goff, and his predecessor, Bruce Smith. In a deposition, Smith, who retired on April 30, 2010, described how he helped turn a $250 million company that was near bankruptcy into a $7 billion powerhouse, a company that went from owning one refinery to seven. Smith recalled being awakened by a phone call the morning of the blast and driving to a crisis center that had been established at Tesoro headquarters in San Antonio. He and his wife arrived in Anacortes that evening and “immediately went to the hospital to meet with families,” he said. Dew: “As far as you know, was anyone at Tesoro responsible for the April 2, 2010, explosion and fire?” Don't miss another Environment investigation: Sign up for the Center for Public Integrity's Watchdog email. Goff was in China, finishing his tenure at ConocoPhillips, at the time of the accident. Just as Smith professed no knowledge of what happened after his departure from Tesoro — “When I left, I left” — Goff said he couldn’t speculate on events prior to his arrival in May 2010. Testifying by telephone during one of the Mount Vernon hearings, Goff said he thought “the company responded extremely well” to the catastrophe and assured Dew that “a core value of everything we do is our commitment to environmental health and safety.” In a deposition, the company’s former chief operating officer, Everett Lewis, said it was unfair to blame him or anyone else at Tesoro for the loss of life in Anacortes. “It was a set of circumstances that were set up earlier in the life of the refinery that really led to the incident,” Lewis testified. The heat exchangers, he said, were arranged by Shell in a way that increased the likelihood of “fouling” — clogging, which could cause the temperature to spike — and other problems. “That was easier to see after the fact,” Lewis said. “It was very difficult for anybody to recognize that in the course of regular operations.” Until exchanger E split open, Tesoro had assumed that it and its duplicate, exchanger B, weren’t subject to HTHA as long as they operated below the so-called Nelson curve for carbon steel — a set of temperature and pressure parameters developed by engineer George Nelson in 1949 and adopted by the oil industry’s primary trade group, the American Petroleum Institute — API — in 1970. Tesoro built in an additional safety factor, lawyer Modlin said. It wasn’t enough. As the Chemical Safety Board noted in its final report on the accident, one part of exchanger E found to have been damaged by HTHA was running 120 degrees below the curve. A metallurgical analysis by a consultant found a crack in exchanger B, undetected by Tesoro, that was 48 inches long and one-third of an inch deep. “Had somebody crawled inside that shell,” one worker remarked at a public meeting held by the board, “they would’ve seen it with a flashlight.” API itself warned in 2008 of a trend among refiners to “push equipment to the limits … for economic reasons …” and said “the concept of a simple boundary between safe and unsafe operating conditions” was flawed. The same year, Tesoro began its own investigation of fires, leaks and temperature excursions within the Naphtha Hydrotreater Unit and the adjoining Catalytic Reformer Unit in Anacortes. A confidential report introduced as evidence in the appeal hearing documented 14 incidents in the two units from 2003 through 2007 and bemoaned “complacency in the workforce.” For a time, the report said, one of Tesoro’s mechanical engineers was fully engaged in stopping the exchanger leaks, successfully pushing for repairs and changes in startup and shutdown procedures. After the engineer left the company, “it appears that the level of concern … did not get communicated to his replacement and no further progress was made.” And so it happened that seven workers were stationed around the leak-prone bank of exchangers on the blustery night of April 1, 2010. Patrick Neely was working as an operator in the blender unit, several hundred yards away. Just after midnight, “I was outside in the parking lot,” he testified in Mount Vernon. “Saw a fireball. Stepped around the building and thought an airplane had crashed into one of our cooling-water towers.” Neely assembled with the other first responders. “We rolled out hoses and started cooling the vessel, right next to where the fire was originating from, just to keep it cool, so there was no other explosions,” he said. “At the same time there was a body in front of us, burning. We were trying to put the body out, with no luck.” Shaken residents of Anacortes, a city of 16,000 whose business district lies about five miles northwest of the refinery, called 911. At least one thought there had been an earthquake. In his closing argument on July 21 of this year, Dew, the assistant attorney general, said that from the time it acquired the Anacortes refinery until the night of the accident, Tesoro showed “systemic apathy” toward safety. Violating its own policy, it never performed internal inspections of the E and B heat exchangers to see if they were being weakened by HTHA, Dew said. It seemed uninterested in learning about the refinery’s idiosyncrasies before closing the purchase with Shell in 1998. “If you are buying a car, are you not going to look under the hood?” Dew asked. “Well, apparently that’s how Tesoro operates.” Tesoro “was anything but indifferent to safety,” said Modlin, its lawyer. Every operator “had authority to stop work or even shut down a unit if he or she felt there was a hazard.” Incidents and near-misses were closely tracked. Modlin said the state had not proved “plain indifference” on the company’s part, the foundation of the willful violations. “Mistakes,” he said, “are not enough to establish willfulness.” Judge Jaffe has weighed the evidence against Tesoro for nearly five months. It’s unclear when he will rule. Either side can appeal his decision. In its written statement, Tesoro said that safety is “integral part of everything we do … and we strive for continuous improvement in our performance. Steve Garey, who retired from the Anacortes refinery in 2015 after almost 25 years and served as president of the United Steelworkers local, said that while some positive changes were made after the 2010 accident, upper management at Tesoro remains “contemptuous” of its work force and is “hiding behind incredibly permissive process safety regulations.” Those regulations grew out of a string of catastrophic events in the 1980s, among them a chemical leak at a Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, that killed thousands in December 1984, and a near-miss at a sister plant in Institute, West Virginia, eight months later. Mishaps occurred with alarming frequency in the United States throughout the decade. In May 1988, the Shell refinery in Norco, Louisiana, exploded, killing seven workers and injuring 42. In October 1989, the Phillips Petroleum chemical plant near Houston blew up, killing 23 and injuring 132. By 1990 Congress had seen enough. In amendments to the Clean Air Act, it ordered the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration — OSHA — and the EPA to address what then-Rep. Henry Waxman, a California Democrat, years earlier had called “a quiet but deadly crisis.” In 1992, OSHA came out with its Process Safety Management standard, which requires industries using “highly hazardous chemicals which may be toxic, reactive, flammable, or explosive” to identify and address vulnerabilities, train workers in emergency-response procedures and take other actions. Four years later the EPA published its Risk Management Program rule, which sets out similar requirements along with a directive that the companies most likely to hurt or kill large numbers of people prepare worst-case accident scenarios and update them every five years. These scenarios — which must be viewed in person and can’t be photocopied or photographed because of what the EPA describes as security concerns — are decidedly grim. The one for the Tesoro refinery in Anacortes is less daunting than most: the refinery’s remote location on March’s Point, in Fidalgo Bay, means that only 33 members of the public would be in harm’s way in the event of a vapor-cloud explosion, the company estimates. Contrast this with, say, an all-out release of hydrofluoric acid from the PBF Energy refinery in Paulsboro, New Jersey, just south of Philadelphia, which, PBF calculates, would put 3.2 million people at risk of injury or death. Or a discharge of the same chemical, known as HF, from the Marathon Petroleum Corporation refinery in Texas City, near Houston, which would threaten 670,000. A modified form of HF nearly escaped from the ExxonMobil (now PBF) refinery in the Los Angeles suburb of Torrance last year. At a public meeting there in January, Chemical Safety Board Chairwoman Vanessa Sutherland explained how an explosion in the refinery’s hydrocarbon-choked electrostatic precipitator, a pollution-control device, had sent airborne an 80,000-pound piece of debris, which narrowly missed a tank of modified HF 80 feet away. Had the tank been pierced, Sutherland said, there could have been a “catastrophic release of extremely toxic [acid] into the neighboring community.” The Torrance scare came not quite two years after an explosion at a fertilizer storage and distribution business in the town of West, Texas, killed 15 — a dozen volunteer firefighters and three members of the public — and injured 260. The blast moved President Obama in August 2013 to issue Executive Order 13650, which called on the EPA, the Labor Department and other federal agencies to come up with preventive steps beyond those already mandated by law. The EPA, which declined to make any of its officials available for interviews, has since proposed an updated version of its risk-management rule that could become final as early as January. It dictates additional hazard analyses and emergency-preparedness measures but in the view of the Chemical Safety Board and others — notably the Coalition to Prevent Chemical Disasters, with more than 100 member groups — doesn’t go far enough. For example, it requires only a fraction of the facilities that pose dangers to “consider” inherently safer technologies while pondering risks. This “permissive language,” the board said in a written comment to the EPA in May, means a company could “poorly perform the analysis and still satisfy the requirement.” Who would be against safer technologies and other advances? Any number of corporations, trade associations and politicians. Among the 61,716 comments the EPA received were missives from the American Chemistry Council, which complained about the paperwork burden process analyses would impose on its members; the attorneys general of Texas and Louisiana, who said they feared new transparency provisions would encourage “those with nefarious motives”; and Sens. James Inhofe, David Vitter, John Barrasso and Shelley Moore Capito, all Republicans, who didn’t like the idea of third-party safety auditors prying into operations at their constituents’ plants. The Labor Department is moving more slowly than the EPA. “We’re probably a couple of years away from a proposal” to revamp OSHA’s process-safety standard, said Jordan Barab, the department’s deputy assistant secretary for occupational safety and health. An overhaul is badly needed, said Kim Nibarger, who chairs the United Steelworkers national oil bargaining sector. “There’s no teeth to it,” he said. “If you develop a written plan, you’re basically in compliance with the standard. There’s no need to prove the plan is going to result in any improvements.” After the BP-Texas City disaster in 2005, OSHA officials looked at inspection data and found that oil refineries accounted for more worker deaths than any other industry category covered by the standard. In 2007, the federal agency — along with many states that have their own versions of OSHA, such as Washington and California — launched a nationwide refinery inspection blitz that lasted four years. All told, 1,588 federal citations were issued, 70 percent of which involved process safety. A year before the Anacortes accident, the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries cited Tesoro for 17 serious violations as part of the program. At this early stage, the Labor Department is considering a number of enhancements to its process-safety rule. It might, for example, extend coverage to oil and gas drilling, which are exempt at the moment. It might deal with reactive chemicals — substances that generate heat or toxic fumes when combined. It might broaden stop-work authority to include contract employees and force managers to sign off on safety recommendations they approve — or reject. It might make companies log near-misses. An oil refiners trade group already has registered objections. In written comments, American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers argued that the ideas under consideration “will not only fail to significantly reduce operational risks at covered facilities in our industry, but may actually undercut the safety benefits of the current [standard] … and will add significant, unnecessary and unjustified compliance costs to an already costly program.” Given what appears to be a regulation-averse White House on the horizon and a Republican-controlled Congress, it’s hard to know how the EPA and OSHA efforts will play out. This much is clear: the industries that would be affected by any new rules have extraordinary influence. The American Petroleum Institute, for example, spent $69 million on lobbying from 2006 through 2015, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, the American Chemistry Council $77.4 million. During the 2016 election cycle, API’s political action committee gave $281,250 to federal candidates, 85 percent of which went to Republicans. The chemistry council’s PAC handed out $450,000, 73 percent to Republicans, while American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers’ PAC gave $172,000, 95 percent to Republicans. California is moving ahead on its own. In August 2013, a year after a corrosion-related fire at the Chevron refinery in Richmond, northeast of San Francisco, filled the skies with smoke and sent 15,000 people to hospitals and clinics, Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown convened an interagency refinery task force and asked it to find ways to amplify safety and emergency response. That exercise spawned a 2016 proposal by the California Environmental Protection Agency and the California Department of Industrial Relations that would, among other things, make refiners adopt “inherently safer designs and systems”; give workers authority to shut down units for safety reasons; and require annual public reporting of safety metrics. Stricter rules could have economic benefits as well as save lives. A state-commissioned study by the RAND Corporation found that while compliance costs for owners of California’s 19 refineries could be as high as $183 million a year, the average cost of the three major accidents that have taken place since 1999 was at least $220 million. An outage triggered by the explosion in Torrance last year cost California drivers nearly $2.4 billion, “which took the form of a prolonged $0.40 [per gallon] increase in gasoline prices,” researchers found. This shaved $6.9 billion off the state’s economy, according to the study. Nonetheless, at the most recent public hearing on the proposal, in September, Big Oil pushed back, this time through the Western States Petroleum Association. The group produced its own consultant’s report, which claimed the RAND study was methodologically unsound and greatly underestimated industry costs. It asked, in written comments, why “less costly and less burdensome alternatives” to the proposed rules weren’t considered. The two California agencies are still tinkering with a final regulation, which must be out by July 15 of next year; otherwise, the entire process will start over. Washington has formed an advisory committee and is mulling a similar initiative. Meanwhile, problems keep turning up. In August, the Chemical Safety Board issued an industrywide alert on high temperature hydrogen attack, the metal-weakening phenomenon that had lethal consequences in Anacortes. The board said the American Petroleum Institute’s updated operating limits for carbon-steel equipment did not take into account all the conditions that had led to the rupture of heat exchanger E. “The use of a [Nelson] curve not incorporating significant failure data could result in future catastrophic equipment ruptures,” the alert warned. In short, the horror in Anacortes could be repeated. An API spokesman did not respond to requests for comment. April 2010 was a ghastly month for American workers. The Tesoro accident on the 2nd was followed on the 5th by the Upper Big Branch coal mine cave-in, which killed 29 miners in West Virginia, and on the 20th by the immolation of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico, which killed 11 workers and put 5 million barrels of crude into the sea. The families of the seven who died in Anacortes settled civil lawsuits against Tesoro and Shell for a collective $39 million in 2014. But Tesoro’s appeal of the state fine — which amounts to less than two-tenths of one percent of the $1.54 billion in profits the company reported for 2015, or slightly more than 10 percent of the $23 million CEO Goff received in total compensation that year — has left an open wound. “It’s disgusting,” said Estus “Ken” Powell, a retired farm-equipment salesman who lives in Mount Vernon. His daughter, Kathryn Denise, known as K.D., was 28 the day she died. Mechanically inclined and unintimidated by the dangerous, male-dominated environment, K.D. had gone to work at Tesoro in 2008. She’d volunteered to help restart the bank of heat exchangers on the night of the accident. Don't miss another Environment investigation: Sign up for the Center for Public Integrity's Watchdog email. A 1:15 a.m. phone call from K.D.’s boyfriend, whose father worked at the refinery, sent her parents on a panicked excursion. They drove first to Island Hospital in Anacortes — where K.D., swelling rapidly from her burns, was wrapped in bandages from head to foot and induced into a coma — then to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, a Level I trauma and burn center to which she was to be airlifted. Her parents got there before the helicopter. K.D. died at 8:05 a.m. Her father was able to recognize her only by her painted toenails. “It still hurts,” Powell said, sitting at his dining room table. “It hurts deeply.” His wife, Connie, stayed in a bedroom and would not join the conversation — still too upset, Powell explained. The explosion and its aftermath afflict Matt Gumbel’s family as well. His father, Paul, was working at the refinery that night and helped fight the fire. A victim of post-traumatic stress disorder, he recoils at loud noises and is easily enraged. “I react badly to a lot of different things,” he said. “On occasion I just treat people like crap.” Paul twice went back to work after his son’s death — “a mistake,” he said — and finally retired on disability in 2014. He seethes over the Tesoro appeal and assumes it has to do more with the company’s bottom line than any out-of-pocket costs. “Any time a corporation gets some kind of black mark against it, the stocks drop,” he said. Matt’s mother, Shauna, explained how the grieving process had unfolded for her. “The first year it’s more robotic,” she said. “It’s like you’re looking through a window, watching life pass you by. The second year you’re no longer looking through that window. You’re actually living that.” Matt’s sister, Amy, now 38, had lost 105 pounds prior to his death; she regained all of the weight, having found no time to go to the gym or watch her diet. “Life just kind of stopped,” she said. In its statement, Tesoro said it “learned much” from the accident. “Focusing on personal and process safety is an integral part of everything we do at Tesoro and we strive for continuous improvement in our performance,” the company said. In 2014, however, four workers were burned by sulfuric acid in two consecutive months at Tesoro’s refinery in Martinez, California, east of San Francisco. The Chemical Safety Board later documented 13 cases in which others at the refinery had been sprayed with, and sometimes burned by, the acid from 2010 through 2013. “The fact that these incidents continued for an extended period demonstrates a culture that does not effectively prioritize worker safety,” the board said. (Tesoro says it conducted “an extensive review of procedures, controls and training” in Martinez and made improvements after the 2014 accidents). Don't miss another Environment investigation: Sign up for the Center for Public Integrity's Watchdog email. In September, Tesoro agreed to pay $325,000 to settle an EPA complaint alleging it had violated provisions of the risk-management rule in Anacortes, where flammable chemicals such as isobutene, pentane and hydrogen are handled. Some operating and emergency procedures were unclear or incomplete, the EPA said. A Tesoro spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment; the company neither admitted nor denied fault in the settlement agreement. Not quite three years ago, the Chemical Safety Board held the first of two public meetings in Anacortes. Emotions were raw. Ken Powell, Maria Redin and Steve Garey spoke. Technical experts discussed deficiencies in the Nelson curve and the metallurgical quirks of carbon steel. It was Brian Hughes, however, who tied it all together. Hughes, a root-cause analysis consultant out of Seattle, said he investigated failures in the oil, chemical and aerospace industries. These failures, he said, could often be traced to “a big financial motive to get things up and moving as fast as possible.” Hughes talked about an acceptance of risk that is engendered on Wall Street and filters down through a company’s management ranks. Losses on one side of the ledger can be overcome by gains on the other. Hazards feel remote. Workers like the seven who died in Anacortes are “at the sharp end” of this calculus, Hughes said, “and they aren’t able to diversify that away.” This story is part of Carbon Wars. The fossil-fuel industry is under attack as the world warms and pollution impairs and shortens lives. But industry is fighting back. Click here to read more stories in this series. Copyright 2016 The Center for Public Integrity. This story was published by The Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit, nonpartisan investigative news organization in Washington, D.C.


News Article | November 23, 2016
Site: www.prlog.org

World's Premier Bioeconomy Consulting Group Adds Damiana Serafini, Andrew Grant, Charles Loos, Saravanan Ramusubramanian and Anju Krivov to Its Team of Experts -- Lee Enterprises Consulting, the world's premier bio-economy consulting group, is pleased to announce the addition of five new experts in its biodiesel, ethanol, biomass power, emerging technologies, and biogas/AD sections.  The consulting group currently has over 100 worldwide experts in its seven divisions, and is the largest bioeconomy consulting group in the world."We recently celebrated twenty one years in this business, and as we finish FY2016, I continue to be pleased with the growth and success we have, both in our more traditional Biodiesel, Ethanol, and Biomass Power Divisions, as well as our newer Renewable Chemicals, Emerging Technologies and Biogas/Anaerobic Digestion Divisions," says Wayne Lee, CEO of Lee Enterprises Consulting.   "As I listen to the conversations and oversee this vast group of worldwide experts, including these new additions, the breadth and depth of the collective knowledge represented never ceases to amaze me."   Lee notes that, like all the consultants in the group, each of these new additions brings a unique talent and specialization to the group.Damiana Serafini has a Bachelor's Degree in Occupational Safety and Health and a Master's Degree in Agriculture and Resource Economics from the University of Connecticut and over 15 years' experience in sustainable alternative fuels (SAF) for aviation.  She has collaborated with IATA on quantifying the challenges associated with adopting a sustainability certification standard for biofuel production and currently leads the development of a strategic roadmap for the successful deployment of SAF for aviation for Trinidad and Tobago in collaboration with the International Civil Aviation Organization, a division of the United Nations.  Serafini was born in Argentina and will serve in the group's emerging technologies section and act as a project liaison to the group's projects in the Caribbean, Central and South America.Andrew Grant has a B.A. and M.A. from Cambridge University and over 35 years' experience as a manager of biomass conversion projects.  His experience includes providing performance guarantees, environmental impact and cost studies for coal and biomass conversion technologies, and performing due diligence studies of technologies and of facilities.  He has experience with a wide range of biomass processing (from wood chips, rice straw, and MSW) and is experienced in greenhouse gas reduction and carbon footprinting.  He is also experienced in the use of waste biomass, and other emerging technologies. He will serve in the group's Biomass Power and Emerging Technologies sections.Charles Loos has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Irvine, is a Registered Professional Mechanical Engineer (California), and has over 35 years' experience in the power industry both in the U.S. and abroad.  He has an expertise in engineering, operations management, startup, project development and environmental permitting. He has served as Plant Engineer at a biomass plant, and Operations Manager in charge of cogeneration plants, and has been the Startup Manager for the commissioning of several power facilities.  In addition to his background in operations and development, He has a full range of environmental permitting experience and has prepared numerous permit applications, including several in the challenging California environment. Loos will serve in the group's Biomass Power and Emerging Technologies sections.Saravanan Ramusubramanian has a PhD in plant microbial biology, he has done post-doctoral work at various nationally ranked academic institutes in France and USA.  He has wide experience in biotechnology and renewable chemicals, his knowledge and expertise includes laboratory analyses, biofuel conversion process, cellulosic/corn ethanol, biodiesel esterification process, biocatalyst, industrial enzymes, nutraceuticals/supplements, renewable chemicals, bio lubricants, bioprocess scale up, and solving biotech issues. Ramusubramanian is also on scientific and editorial board and will serve in the group's Renewable Chemicals and Ethanol sections.Anju Krivov has a Ph.D. in Zoology and Environmental Pollution, and has over 20 years' experience in biochemistry, microbiology, bioenergy with a focus on algae by-products and waste treatment. She is President of GSR Solutions LLC, where she has been leading several projects focused on biofuel and by-products production from algae integrated with nutrients recovery for waste management including VT Farm to Fly, supported by US federal and state initiatives with stakeholders support. She is also affiliated with the University of Vermont as a Biofuels Instructor where she directs 'Waste to Energy' the 'Bioenergy - Biomass to Biofuels' programs.  Krivov will serve in the group's Biogas and Biodiesel sections.Dr. Gerald Kutney, Lee Enterprises Consulting's EVP with oversight of the Emerging Technologies and Biomass Power sections agrees with Lee's assessment.  "I have been with LEC for several years, and I am proud to be a member of this group of leading bioeconomy experts in the world.  The breadth and depth of expertise of Lee Enterprises Consulting in this sector are unmatched in my opinion", says Kutney.  "We have truly become a single place to capture virtually any bioeconomy need".:  Lee Enterprises Consulting is the world's premier bio-economy consulting group, offering services in biodiesel, biofuels, biomass power, renewable chemicals, renewable jet fuels, pyrolysis, hydrolysis, gasification, waste-to-energy, anaerobic digestion, torrefaction, wastewater treatment, steam reformation, biochar, carbonization and biogas. In addition to its team of over 100 consultants, the group maintains strategic alliances with the leading alternative and renewable fuels companies worldwide, and maintains ongoing relationships with the top alternative fuels law firms, accounting groups, engineers, and fabrication facilities. The group's consultants and strategic partners represent the top talent in the bioeconomy and can address virtually every aspect of a project.  Lee Enterprises Consulting, 9821 Brockington Road, Suite 4, Sherwood, AR 72120. (501) 833-8511. . www.lee-enterprises.com


KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, Dec. 6, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- On November 25, 2016, 3,500 security industry players in Malaysia converged for a gala dinner, which was organised for the first time ever by Malaysia's Ministry of Home Affairs (MOHA) in collaboration with Security Service Association of Malaysia (PPKKM) and sponsored by UBM Malaysia. Almost 800 security companies attended the memorable event, making it the largest dinner in the security industry that ever took place in Malaysia. The gala dinner was graced by the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia and Minister of Home Affairs, Y.A.B Dato' Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, along with Y.B Masir Kujat, MOHA Deputy Minister; Datuk Seri Mustafa Ibrahim, MOHA Deputy Secretary; General Tan Sri Dato' Sri Dr. Zulkiefli Bin Mohd Zin, Chief of Malaysian Armed Forces; Dato' Sri Haji Mustapa Bin Haji Ali, PPKKM President; Tan Sri Dato' Dr Mustaffa Babjee, Chairman, UBM Malaysia, and Mr M. Gandhi, Managing Director of ASEAN Business, UBM Asia. In his opening speech, Y.A.B Dato' Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi stressed the importance of having 24-hour guards on duty in all banks, due to increased cases in the premises and advised the banks to invest more in security parameters, to help protect not only their property, but also the people around them. The Ministry of Home Affairs will announce about the mandatory training, monitored by Royal Malaysia Police for all security personnel and bodyguards. This step has to be taken in order to improve the quality of their services. With the dinner serving as the last big gathering for security companies in 2016, the next gathering will be at IFSEC Southeast Asia 2017 on 6-8 September 2017 at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. Being the largest security, fire and safety event in Southeast Asia, IFSEC SEA is the best platform for the industry players to converge and build international network, whilst obtaining the latest technology available in the market. Organised by UBM Malaysia, IFSEC SEA had attracted more than 7,000 security professionals from 51 countries in 2016. It is supported by Malaysia Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government, Royal Malaysia Police, CyberSecurity Malaysia, Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) Malaysia, Asian Professional Security Association (APSA) Malaysia Chapter, International Workplace, National Examination Board of Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH), British Security Industry Association (BSIA), ASIS Malaysia Chapter and International Security Industry Organisation (ISIO). "This event is part of our global IFSEC series of exhibitions that aims to promote security for commercial, government and private sectors. It is crucial for everyone to understand the security technology that helps protect offices, infrastructures and homes. One of the crucial elements in IFSEC SEA is cybersecurity, since globally, cybersecurity threats have cost billions of dollars in losses. So, we bring together leading global experts to IFSEC SEA and hope the industry players will take advantage by building business network and witnessing the latest technology and solutions available," said Mr M Gandhi. IFSEC Southeast Asia will take place at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre on September 6 - 8 2017, and it's open to trade visitors only. Entrance is free of charge. For more information on the list of exhibitors or seminars, please visit www.ifsecsea.com. Owned by UBM plc listed on the London Stock Exchange, UBM Asia is the largest trade show organiser in Asia and the largest commercial organiser in China, India and Malaysia. Established with its headquarters in Hong Kong and subsidiary companies across Asia and in the US, UBM Asia has a strong global network of 30 offices and 1,300 staff in 24 major cities. We operate in 20 market sectors with 230 exhibitions and conferences, 23 trade publications, 20 online products for over 1,000,000 quality exhibitors, visitors, conference delegates, advertisers and subscribers from all over the world.


KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, Dec. 6, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- On November 25, 2016, 3,500 security industry players in Malaysia converged for a gala dinner, which was organised for the first time ever by Malaysia's Ministry of Home Affairs (MOHA) in collaboration with Security Service Association of Malaysia (PPKKM) and sponsored by UBM Malaysia. Almost 800 security companies attended the memorable event, making it the largest dinner in the security industry that ever took place in Malaysia. The gala dinner was graced by the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia and Minister of Home Affairs, Y.A.B Dato' Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, along with Y.B Masir Kujat, MOHA Deputy Minister; Datuk Seri Mustafa Ibrahim, MOHA Deputy Secretary; General Tan Sri Dato' Sri Dr. Zulkiefli Bin Mohd Zin, Chief of Malaysian Armed Forces; Dato' Sri Haji Mustapa Bin Haji Ali, PPKKM President; Tan Sri Dato' Dr Mustaffa Babjee, Chairman, UBM Malaysia, and Mr M. Gandhi, Managing Director of ASEAN Business, UBM Asia. In his opening speech, Y.A.B Dato' Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi stressed the importance of having 24-hour guards on duty in all banks, due to increased cases in the premises and advised the banks to invest more in security parameters, to help protect not only their property, but also the people around them. The Ministry of Home Affairs will announce about the mandatory training, monitored by Royal Malaysia Police for all security personnel and bodyguards. This step has to be taken in order to improve the quality of their services. With the dinner serving as the last big gathering for security companies in 2016, the next gathering will be at IFSEC Southeast Asia 2017 on 6-8 September 2017 at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. Being the largest security, fire and safety event in Southeast Asia, IFSEC SEA is the best platform for the industry players to converge and build international network, whilst obtaining the latest technology available in the market. Organised by UBM Malaysia, IFSEC SEA had attracted more than 7,000 security professionals from 51 countries in 2016. It is supported by Malaysia Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government, Royal Malaysia Police, CyberSecurity Malaysia, Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) Malaysia, Asian Professional Security Association (APSA) Malaysia Chapter, International Workplace, National Examination Board of Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH), British Security Industry Association (BSIA), ASIS Malaysia Chapter and International Security Industry Organisation (ISIO). "This event is part of our global IFSEC series of exhibitions that aims to promote security for commercial, government and private sectors. It is crucial for everyone to understand the security technology that helps protect offices, infrastructures and homes. One of the crucial elements in IFSEC SEA is cybersecurity, since globally, cybersecurity threats have cost billions of dollars in losses. So, we bring together leading global experts to IFSEC SEA and hope the industry players will take advantage by building business network and witnessing the latest technology and solutions available," said Mr M Gandhi. IFSEC Southeast Asia will take place at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre on September 6 - 8 2017, and it's open to trade visitors only. Entrance is free of charge. For more information on the list of exhibitors or seminars, please visit www.ifsecsea.com. Owned by UBM plc listed on the London Stock Exchange, UBM Asia is the largest trade show organiser in Asia and the largest commercial organiser in China, India and Malaysia. Established with its headquarters in Hong Kong and subsidiary companies across Asia and in the US, UBM Asia has a strong global network of 30 offices and 1,300 staff in 24 major cities. We operate in 20 market sectors with 230 exhibitions and conferences, 23 trade publications, 20 online products for over 1,000,000 quality exhibitors, visitors, conference delegates, advertisers and subscribers from all over the world.


Not violating federal labor law seems like a commonsense precursor for being awarded lucrative federal contracts. House Republicans, however, disagree. Last week, majority members in the House of Representatives successfully passed a resolution to get rid of federal disclosure requirements included in President Barack Obama’s Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order, which he originally signed in 2014. Those disclosure requirements directed businesses bidding for federal contracts of $500,000 or more to report any violations of 14 labor laws within the prior three years. Among those 14 laws are the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, the National Labor Relations Act, a provision of the 1964 Civil Rights Act that bars discrimination, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Now that the repeal effort has passed the House, it moves on to the Senate. Republicans were able to do this using the Congressional Review Act (CRA), which passed in the mid-1990s and allows Congress to get rid of regulations that have taken effect within the last 60 legislative days. The CRA is very rarely used; in fact, the last time Congress wielded it effectively was in 2001 to overturn OSHA’s ergonomics rules. The Department of Labor previously described the need for the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces’ disclosure rules like this: Debbie Berkowitz, a senior fellow at the National Employment Law Project (NELP), said the point of the executive order was to encourage companies to come into compliance before bidding for federal contracts. In fact, she told me that the order doesn’t even deprive companies that have violated the law from bidding or receiving a big federal contract. It simply requires disclosure of previous violations and even offers a process by which bidders can come into full compliance with these fairly basic labor laws. But because policymakers used the CRA to go after the order — and assuming the Senate and president follow House Republicans’ lead — it’ll mean the Labor Department can’t issue similar regulations unless Congress gives its permission. Unfortunately, advocates such as Berkowitz worry that axing the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces order is just a taste of the much larger assault on worker health and safety that’s to come. “Congress is completely giving in to the power of big corporations here,” Berkowitz said. “This is the opening salvo of the war on workers and the first big test of President Trump on whether he’ll stand up for workers.” What’s at stake for worker health and safety? But to help us gauge just how much we have to lose on that front, NELP recently issued a short policy brief on gains during the Obama years. Let’s start with the basic numbers: Under Obama, workplace fatalities went down. In particular, the brief noted that the rate of workers being killed on the job dropped from 3.7 per 100,000 workers in 2008 to 3.4 per 100,000 in 2015. That translates to an average of 4,747 workers who lost their lives on the job each year from 2013 to 2015, compared to an average of 5,570 workers who lost their lives every year from 2006 to 2008. At the Mine Safety and Health Administration, according to the brief, workplace fatalities in the nation’s mines reached a record low during the Obama years. On OSHA enforcement, the brief noted that after thinning resources during the George W. Bush years, the Obama administration and its partners in Congress allocated enough funding to add more than 200 people to OSHA’s staff. Even with the increase, it would still take OSHA more than a century to visit every workplace under its jurisdiction. That’s why during the Obama years, the Labor Department zeroed in on particularly egregious lawbreakers, directing their limited resources at employers with a history of serious and willful violations. One example of that effort is OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP), which it established in 2010. In a 2013 agency white paper on SVEP progress, OSHA wrote: This is important because OSHA’s enforcement efforts can serve as a critical insight into how an administration values and prioritizes worker safety. It gives us an opportunity to gauge whether an administration’s commitment to job creation includes jobs that don’t put workers at risk of preventable injury and illness for the sake of greater profits. In general, Berkowitz said the Obama administration viewed workplace injuries as events that could be prevented through safer workplace conditions, better training and compliance with OSHA regulations. Under Obama, OSHA could follow the data, which led it to focus on the most dangerous industries, the most vulnerable workers and the most recalcitrant employers. For example, Berkowitz reminded me, OSHA launched initiatives specifically for Latino workers as well as temporary workers in light of data showing both worker populations faced disproportionate workplace risks and abuses. That was a marked practice shift from the previous administration, which focused much more on applauding workplaces with good safety records to the detriment of focusing on workplaces with poor safety records. Berkowitz said she expects to see a big drop in OSHA’s enforcement capacity under Trump. She also noted that the administration could easily get rid of a program like SVEP. “Enforcement is where I think we’ll see the biggest swing coming,” she said. “I think we’ll see a shift away from enforcement toward exempting more employers from inspections and providing more resources for giving workplaces (accolades) if they have good safety records. …It’s a shame because enforcement is critical. It makes a difference, it works, it saves workers’ lives and it saves employers money.” ‘Radical departure from the commitment to protecting workers’ Beyond enforcement, OSHA also made progress in protecting whistleblowers and ensuring state-run worker safety programs were at least as effective as federal OSHA, according to NELP. For example, OSHA under Obama amped up its efforts to protect workers who were retaliated against for speaking out about harmful workplace conditions. During the last three years of Obama’s presidency, the number of cases with a positive outcome for workers who experienced such retaliation was double that of a comparable period of time under the Bush administration, the brief reported. In addition, the amount of money awarded to workers who were retaliated against almost tripled. Still, the brief noted that with more than 4,800 workers killed on the job in 2015, “more work is left to be done.” The brief drove that need home with this story: Just this summer, for example, a young woman, two weeks away from her wedding, was working at an auto parts plant in Alabama when the assembly line stopped and she and three of her co-workers entered a robotic station to clear a sensor fault. The robot restarted abruptly, crushing to death the young woman inside the machine. An investigation by OSHA found that the company exposed her to a life-threatening danger and completely failed to protect her — they never developed or implemented the procedures for preventing machines from starting up when workers are inside. This is one of the oldest and most basic of all safety rules. OSHA levied more than $2.5 million in fines on both Ajin USA (the plant owner) and the two staffing agencies that provided workers to the plant. This story — which is one among thousands in 2016 — should send a clear message to the incoming administration that strong enforcement of safety rules is a must to safeguard America’s workers. But Andrew Puzder, (President) Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of labor, has spent years railing against regulations — especially those that protect America’s workers and the middle class. He speaks often of a cost-benefit analysis that gives short shrift to the value of the lives and health of workers. On Puzder, Berkowitz told me: “They’ve nominated somebody who clearly shows that he’s hostile to the interests of low-wage and middle-wage workers. I think he has no concept of the kinds of dangers workers face in industry and that they can be prevented through better training and safer practices.” (Puzder’s confirmation hearing has been delayed multiple times.) Berkowitz said despite the troubling outlook at the federal level, she expects states and localities will continue moving forward to promote safer working conditions, living wages and equitable workplace policies. Federally, she predicts worker health and safety will end up on the chopping block. “I think we’re going to see huge budget cuts — I have no doubt about that,” Berkowitz said. “We’re going to see a radical departure from the commitment to protecting workers…and it’s never good for workers when OSHA rolls back enforcement. If workers can’t count on OSHA to cite an employer who’s endangering their safety, then there’s no real protection for workers.” To download a copy of the NELP brief, click here. For advocacy resources on the Puzder nomination, visit http://antilaborsecretary.org. Kim Krisberg is a freelance public health writer living in Austin, Texas, and has been writing about public health for 15 years.


News Article | October 26, 2016
Site: www.npr.org

California Rules About Violence Against Health Workers Could Become A Model Workers in California's hospitals and doctors' offices may be less likely to get hit, kicked, bitten or grabbed under workplace standards adopted by a state workplace safety board. Regulators within the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health approved a rule last Thursday that would require hospitals and other employers of health professionals to develop violence prevention protocols and involve workers in the process. The standard now will be reviewed by the Office of Administrative Law, which proponents expect will approve the new rules. The earliest they could take effect would be January 2017. "This is a landmark day for the entire country," said Bonnie Castillo, a registered nurse who is director of health and safety for the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United, which represents 185,000 registered nurses across the U.S. There are no federal rules specifically protecting workers from violence, but some states, including California, New York, Illinois and New Jersey require public employers to take preventive measures, according to the American Nurses Association. The Cal/OSHA rules apply to private health care facilities in the state and are more robust than existing workplace protection rules, union officials say. Site-specific assessments will be done to identify violence risks, and the resulting plans to prevent injuries will address concerns identified by workers. "California has now set the bar with the strongest workplace violence regulation in the nation," wrote Castillo in a statement. Two unions, the California Nurses Association and the Service Employees International Union, have been pushing for more comprehensive protections because of what they see as an alarming rate of health care workplace assaults, such as the 2010 strangling death of a nurse at a state-run psychiatric hospital in Napa. "Unfortunately, [violence] is sort of a daily occurrence," said Kathy Hughes, a registered nurse and spokesperson for the SEIU Nurse Alliance of California. She said her union formed a campaign and talked to hundreds of health care professionals, many of whom had accepted the idea that assaults happen at work. But "violence shouldn't be part of the job," said Hughes. The California Nurses Association sponsored the 2014 bill that required the board to adopt the violence prevention rules this year. National research shows that health care workers are at a "substantially higher" risk of workplace violence than the average worker. In 2013, for example, private-sector hospital workers were five times more likely to take time off from work because of an injury caused by violence than a typical private sector worker. Workplace safety standards already exist in California, but the Cal/OSHA rules are specifically designed to prevent violence. "It can't be a cookie-cutter approach," said Hughes, adding that emergency departments and pediatric care units pose different dangers to workers, so safety protocols can't simply be a canned plan found on the Internet. Both the California Nurses Association and SEIU say they hope the new California standards will become a national model. Testimony at hearings leading up to the approval of the rules to prevent violence suggest that worker assaults vary in severity. As a student nurse at a San Francisco hospital, Amy Erb remembered being kicked in the head by an agitated, confused patient with a traumatic brain injury. Other health care workers told stories about patients throwing lamps, lifting caregivers up by their necks or stuffing dirt into the mouths of their colleagues. Under the new rules, California employers wouldn't be liable for every act of violence against a worker, such as a mass shooting, but they could be cited by Cal/OSHA for not following protocols, Hughes said. The standard applies to hospital-affiliated facilities and clinics, including home health care settings and drug treatment programs. Hospitals and physicians were at the table when regulators hammered out the workplace rules. The California Hospital Association didn't provide comment for this story, but it had been opposed to creating new standards when lawmakers looked at the issue in 2014. Hospitals also wanted "workplace violence" to be better defined. The hospital trade association said several recent trends may contribute to violence at health care facilities. Cuts to mental health care services lead to more psychiatric patients in hospitals. The aging patient population may include more Alzheimer's patients, some with aggressive tendencies. And hospitals caring for current or recently released prisoners face a higher risk of violence. This story was produced by Kaiser Health News, which publishes California Healthline, an editorially independent service of the California Health Care Foundation.


LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Technavio market research analysts forecast the global personal protective equipment (PPE) market in the construction industry to grow at a CAGR of close to 8% during the forecast period, according to their latest report. The market study covers the present scenario and growth prospects of the global PPE market in construction industry for 2016-2020. This report provides geographical segmentation of the market into three major regions, which include the Americas, APAC and EMEA. This report also provides a list of vendors that are active in providing PPE in construction industry worldwide. According to Sarah Haque, a lead analyst at Technavio, “The global PPE market in the construction industry is fueled by developments in the construction industry in APAC and African countries. The market is also driven by increasing focus on fall protection by the construction industry.” Technavio’s sample reports are free of charge and contain multiple sections of the report including the market size and forecast, drivers, challenges, trends, and more. Technavio analysts highlight the following three market drivers that are contributing to the growth of the global PPE market in the construction industry: On-site injuries and accidents cause employers to pay penalties and compensation, therefore, to prevent accidents they equip laborers with PPE, which can reduce the risks of work hazards. Increasing demand for fall protection is due to the increasing construction industries in Asia-pacific, Middle-East, and Africa. Asian countries are expected to increase their infrastructure expenditure by over 6% during 2016-2020. Also, construction in the Middle East and Africa is expected to grow by over 7% annually during the period of 2016-2020. Fall protection in terms of safety harnesses, lanyards, belts and connectors, self-retracting lifelines, and guardrail systems are used in construction sites for employees to work safely. The scaffold is a structure used in construction to support workers to aid in maintenance, construction, and repair of buildings. These scaffolds are capable of supporting fall protection equipment with maximum strength to carry the load. Manufacturers are introducing innovative products and advanced materials for fall protection. For instance, Honeywell launched Miller H-Design Fall Arrest in July 2015 and Miller TurboLite TM Edge in December 2015. This equipment comes under fall protection category. “Thus, demand for fall protection is a driving factor for the growth of global PPE market in construction industry globally,” says Sarah. Around 84% of employees who sustain a head injury at workplace do not wear head protection, and 50% of construction workers suffer from serious eye injury globally. Rising number of occupational injuries and fatalities is forcing government to enforce stringent regulations employers to build a robust workplace safety. Workplace safety can be enforced and managed by proper risk management and preventive solutions. For instance, in 1970, the US government passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act for laborers that ensure the provision of a safe and healthy work environment. The implementation of this act led to the formation of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA ensures that safety standards are implemented at the workplace and employers work toward reducing workers' injuries. The administration covers both private and public sector employers and addresses any employee grievances that may arise out of inadequate safety at the workplace. In Great Britain, authorities such as the Health and Safety Executive work toward helping the safety of workers. The authority carries out inspections and encourages compliance with health and safety legislation. The market for PPE in construction is being driven by increasing awareness and on-site training by manufacturers. In addition to offering services, which involve the determination and selection of PPE, vendors in the market also offer on-site training support for wearers that include programs on understanding the various available features in the product and their usage in a specific scenario. For instance, hearing protection products that offer either passive or active hearing protection at the flip of a switch on the product necessitate adequate hands-on training for wearers. The goal of such training programs is to create awareness about various possible hazards at the workplace and to facilitate risk reduction by educating wearers about the correct use of safety equipment. In 2016, OSHA conducted a National Fall Protection Stand-Down to help raise awareness in order to prevent fall hazards in the construction industry. This type of awareness campaigns are conducted regularly as a part of the comprehensive safety program. Do you need a report on a market in a specific geographical cluster or country but can’t find what you’re looking for? Don’t worry, Technavio also takes client requests. Please contact enquiry@technavio.com with your requirements and our analysts will be happy to create a customized report just for you. Technavio is a leading global technology research and advisory company. The company develops over 2000 pieces of research every year, covering more than 500 technologies across 80 countries. Technavio has about 300 analysts globally who specialize in customized consulting and business research assignments across the latest leading edge technologies. Technavio analysts employ primary as well as secondary research techniques to ascertain the size and vendor landscape in a range of markets. Analysts obtain information using a combination of bottom-up and top-down approaches, besides using in-house market modeling tools and proprietary databases. They corroborate this data with the data obtained from various market participants and stakeholders across the value chain, including vendors, service providers, distributors, re-sellers, and end-users. If you are interested in more information, please contact our media team at media@technavio.com.


Coggno Introduces New Safety and Security Bundled Online Training Courses for Its Audience Coggno, online training extraordinaire, has expanded their training library with 97 new Safety and Security online training courses from SafeWorkday. San Jose, CA, February 23, 2017 --( Coggno CEO, Tod Browndorf has this to say about the announcement, “We are very excited to add SafeWorkday’s extensive library of Safety titles to the Coggno Library. The quality and breath of the collection is a real asset to our audience of trainees assuring safe workplace environments.” Each of the 97 new courses can be accessed individually at $12.95 or as part of a special bundled offer for $69.00 per user. SafeWorkday’s courses include First Aid General Awareness, Fire Prevention and Safety, Eye Safety and Electrical Safety, amongst others, and can easily be found on Coggno’s online Marketplace under Workplace Safety. About Coggno: Coggno, a California-based online training provider, offers a platform for accessing an extensive library of online training courses. Their courses are created by industry experts, delivered through an intuitive learning platform that is accessible any time of day on desktops and mobile devices. Coggno is in the business of making training simpler and more convenient for their audience of trainees. San Jose, CA, February 23, 2017 --( PR.com )-- Coggno has announced that their training library has expanded and now includes 97 new Safety and Security online training courses from SafeWorkday. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a workplace that does not compromise the health and safety of its employees, which is why Health and Safety training is crucial and why Coggno has set out to make it more accessible.Coggno CEO, Tod Browndorf has this to say about the announcement, “We are very excited to add SafeWorkday’s extensive library of Safety titles to the Coggno Library. The quality and breath of the collection is a real asset to our audience of trainees assuring safe workplace environments.”Each of the 97 new courses can be accessed individually at $12.95 or as part of a special bundled offer for $69.00 per user. SafeWorkday’s courses include First Aid General Awareness, Fire Prevention and Safety, Eye Safety and Electrical Safety, amongst others, and can easily be found on Coggno’s online Marketplace under Workplace Safety.About Coggno: Coggno, a California-based online training provider, offers a platform for accessing an extensive library of online training courses. Their courses are created by industry experts, delivered through an intuitive learning platform that is accessible any time of day on desktops and mobile devices. Coggno is in the business of making training simpler and more convenient for their audience of trainees. Click here to view the list of recent Press Releases from Coggno

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